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Provinces
Nov 13 2012 3:54PM
 
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South African police said Tuesday a body of a mineworker was found near an Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) hostel in the northern province, where striking workers have defied orders to return to work.

The body of a 56-year-old Mozambican man was discovered on a sports field near the mine's Amandelbult operation on Tuesday morning.

"It is alleged that he was part of a group of workers who were returning from duty when they were assaulted by striking mine workers," police spokesman Ronell Otto said.

The man was assaulted with stones, and no arrests have been made.

Last month, Amplats, the world's biggest platinum producer, sacked 12,000 workers who had embarked on an illegal strike over wages. However, the workers rejected the dismissals and continued staging violent protests.

Workers who wanted to return to work have faced intimidation and violence, as the strike intensified.

Since October, workers have ignored several deadlines by the company for them to return to work and reclaim their jobs.

The latest deadline which expired on Monday has been shifted to Wednesday, following talks with unions.

Amplats has offered the workers a 4,500 rand ($516, 406 euro) one-off bonus, as part of the deal to return to work.

South Africa's key mining industry has been plagued by deadly wildcat strikes over wages, which halted production and hit the economy.

On August 16, 24 striking Lonmin Platinum mineworkers were killed by police during a protest, in an act that shocked the country and the world.

Since August, more than 50 people have died in strike-related violence at mines. -AFP

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